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I can pronounce it when it's at the start of a word as in "drive", but when it's in the middle, as in "bedroom" or "Andrew" the "r kind of fades away and I only say a "j" or a "j"' schwa and a normal "r" sound. How can I pronounce this better? And should I even be saying a "j" sound or is a "d" more appropriate in the middle?

  • "Andrew" can be pronounced with a "j" (ˈænˌdʒɹʊ̈u), but it can also be pronounced with a "d". I've never heard "bedroom" pronounced with a "j". Not being able to think of any other "j" words offhand, I'm wondering whether "Andrew" isn't a special case. – Lachlan Dominic Apr 1 at 14:18
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    @Lachlan Dominic: As a native speaker, I obviously think I'm enunciating a /d/ sound in, say, redress. But if I pay attention to where my tongue goes in relaxed casual speech, i can see (feel! :) that actually I don't bother pushing the tip of my tongue forward as far as I would when normally producing that sound. Presumably because I "know" at some visceral level that I'm gonna have to immediately follow it with some kind of /r/ (which as a "non-rhotic", I'm very sloppy/lazy about articulating clearly! :). It just saves "tongue gymnastics" to fudge / downplay the /d/. Laziness. – FumbleFingers Apr 1 at 14:30
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    But my advice to a learner (non-native speaker) would be that you should still learn how to enunciate this consonant pair "correctly". Like most native speakers (I assume) I can "exaggeratedly" make the distinction between reJress and reDress without having to spell out the actual letters. It shouldn't be seen as a shortcut for nns to avoid ever needing to generate that particular consonant pair. Offhand I don't know of any "minimal pair" where the J/D difference distinguishes different words, but they might well exist. – FumbleFingers Apr 1 at 14:41
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    If the /d/ and /r/ are in the same syllable, like Andrew or raindrop, you can pronounce them as "jr": /reɪndʒrɑp/. If they're not in the same syllable, like bedroom or fundraiser, you probably shouldn't. – Peter Shor Apr 2 at 1:04
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In answer to the question; you may pronounce these better if you think of them as compound words though some are not. The small space given before starting the word Room after Bed should help focus your pronunciation of the words. Similar with An and Drew.

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